I've lived near the Grand Teton Mountains of Wyoming for several decades and I think they are pretty spectacular. And I found the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia most impressive.
But driving through the heart of the San Juans of Colorado left me with my mouth open and blown away. My photos don't even come close to showing their awesomeness. Take the one above and make it about twenty feet high and stand right up next to it. Then add the sound of a dozen waterfalls, a sampling of bird calls and the scent of evergreens and cedars and maybe you could get close.
But of course if there is a highway, there is highway construction. When we started up "The Million Dollar Highway" between Silverton and Ouray, Colorado we were told we'd be delayed an hour and a half about sixteen miles up the road because of road repairs. What could be better than spending some time waiting around in this scenery?
This highway was built by people looking for gold and silver. They didn't care how much it cost to provide a way to get to the mother lode.
The face of the mountain is so vertical they had to build hairpin turns so tight they almost ended up back in the same place. And we're talking an altitude of ten thousand feet or better.
To get to the closed part of the highway we had to go through this little slow down.
Then we were stopped behind this big flatbed for the hour and a half wait. We rolled down the windows, put our feet up and enjoyed the scenery and some munchies we had in the car.
We were finally allowed through single file. We eased past the crew putting up reinforcements to stop falling rocks.
Plus they were putting down new asphalt right along the edge of the cliff--no guardrails here. Just thousands of feet of fresh air to cushion any fall. You can see there just isn't much distance between the mountain wall and the valley below.
Behind these two pieces of equipment was a guy holding what looked like a big roll of white paper. We guessed he had it there for anyone who got so scared hanging off the edge that they just might need to wipe.